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Is Oversleeping Bad for Your Health?

Learn to Self-Regulate
If you’re finding that seven or eight hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep always leave you craving more, consult a physician who can help you pinpoint the causes of your oversleeping. And if you suspect that your fatigue stems from the fact that you can’t seem to establish a regular nocturnal routine, the following checklist, as outlined by Yale–New Haven Hospital, is a good jumping-off point from which to cultivate healthy sleeping habits.

  • Wake up at roughly the same time every day, including Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Exercise regularly, and do your most intense workouts no later than five hours before bedtime.
  • Limit your caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine consumption, particularly later in the day.
  • Don’t eat big meals right before you go to bed.
  • Make sure you’re sleeping on a comfortable, supportive mattress.
  • Begin to wind down thirty to sixty minutes before you want to be asleep. Turn down the lights, quiet your mind, and listen to soothing music or read a good book in your bed.

Everything in Moderation
The National Sleep Foundation is a comprehensive resource for people who have questions about appropriate sleep quantities, how sleep works, and “sleeping smart,” among other topics. One of this organization’s primary messages is that while sleeping is a highly individualistic habit, it represents a “U-shaped curve” on which sleeping too much and sleeping too little can be equally risky—so the key, as with most lifestyle choices, is striking a balance that’s just right for your body. I, for one, am trying to limit myself to seven hours of shut-eye each night. But I have to admit that it’s not easy, considering that I’ve been a glutton for pillowtop mattresses all my life. I just have to remind myself that more hours of wakefulness enhance my overall health, and that I could even be missing out on living longer by snoozing for as many hours as I’m accustomed to. I’m determined to train myself to need less sleep—even if I have to force my eyes to stay open by inserting toothpicks under the upper lids, the way Tom the cat did in that “Sleepy-Time Tom” episode of Tom and Jerry.

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DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

361 comments

+ add your own
8:11AM PDT on Oct 26, 2011

thanks

8:30PM PDT on Jun 19, 2011

thanks

12:02PM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

I love sleeping lol

10:38AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

Interesting

9:34AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

thanks

3:13AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

True, oversleeping as a habit can cause problems, but I imagine that - as with everything else - oversleeping in moderation can be good, or at least neutral for a person.
Thanks for the extra info Mel.

2:34AM PDT on Apr 14, 2011

I have the opposite problem of under sleeping.

11:00PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

Now that I'm retired I sleep longer hours, some 8-9 hours. If I need to be out-and-about early, I feel better after an afternoon nap. I'm happy just listening to what my body tells me it needs. Moreover, my nightly dreams are extremely entertaining....

10:08PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

Napping during the day is one of my favorite things to do. It just seems so decadent to curl up in bed with the sun shining bright. However, I don't have a problem feeling tired if I get a regular night sleep. I just enjoy curling up and relaxing.

6:39PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

thanks

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